Back to School with E.L.F: the Eyelid Primer


Recently, I found out the famously cheap E.L.F has graced the shelves of Target once again. "Halleluyer," I said, "Let them have awesomely cheap makeup!" Since when I became a fan of ELF, I don't quite remember. All I know is the stuff I ordered online as well as bought at Target are quite reliable. And did I say cheap?

The ELF stuff at Target just flies off the shelf like crazy. I wanted to get another eyeshadow brush but alas, none found. As I was about to walk out of the store with tail between my feet (figuratively), I saw a few of the Eyelid Primers hanging on the wall. Since I didn't get the Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in my last order, I decided to give this one a chance. It's only a dollar and I figured out if it sucked, I would not really miss it.

ELF Eyelid Primer ($1)

The tube looks like a lip gloss tube that's made of plastic. The texture of the body is rubbery while that of the cap is smooth. Similar to Urban Decay Primer Potion, this product has a wand that allows you to scoop the primer out.

The wand
The juice is light peachy pink and the first time I opened it, a faint alcohol scent escaped. However, after a couple of times I used this primer, I don't smell the alcohol anymore.

The primer, not spread out
It is quite easy to spread out, thanks to cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone. Not only so, this primer can be spread quite thinly. As you may know, MAC paint pots are my stand-in primers and they spread out quite well. This even tops them. I don't need a lot of product to cover my entire eyelid and once spread out, it feels like a thin film. The feeling is not as creamy as paint pots but it is not uncomfortable either. It just does not feel so organic to me.

The primer, spread out
If you look really closely, the area with the primer appears to be a bit lighter. Yup, the stuff is not 100% colorless. However, if you have uneven skin tone on your eyelids, this will help to balance things out.

And now, the juicy part: Does it work?

My answer: to a certain extend.

For a dollar, I do not expect much. If it can hold my eye shadows for about 6 hours, it does the job. And yes, it does, even in the heat and humidity of the Sunshine State. I tested it for 3 times, once indoor, once outdoor, and once when I was in and out. Each time, the duration was 4-6 hours. With that said, there's a trick to make this work: you have to wait for the primer to dry totally. It does not take that long, only a minute or two, but it is the only way for this eyelid primer to work.

Once dried, you can apply your eye shadows and it will keep everything intact for about 6 hours. Longer than that, you're on your own. The thing is, even paint pots can prolong the colors for a certain amount of time before everything started to melt. Six hours is not that long, if you go to work or school all day. However, if the temperature is lower and you stay mostly indoor with the A.C on, the time limit can be stretched for an hour or two longer.

The quality of eye shadows also determines how long they stay on your eyelids when using this primer. I tried MAC, ELF, and Formula D eye shadows. While MAC and Formula D colors stay relatively long (6 hours and beyond), ELF does not stay that long. I pressed my luck and after 4 hours, ELF eye shadows started to fade.

Another point of attention is the vibrancy of the eye shadows when using this product as a primer: it does not bolster your colors at all. Au contraire, the colors seem to be dimmer. The effect is similar to that of Urban Decay Sin Primer Potion. Since I want more vibrancy, this is not something I am looking forward to.

Here is a quick summary of pros and cons:


  • cheap ($1), can get deals online to offset the cost
  • easy to use
  • highly spreadable and evens out your skin tone
  • feels smooth, thanks to dimethicone, and makes blending colors easier
  • has portable container
  • does not contain parabens
  • feels plastic
  • takes time to dry (1-2 minutes)
  • does not make colors pop
  • time limit is not that long (~6hrs)

Ingredient list
Will I buy it again? Probably not. If I were to purchase a primer from ELF, I may go for the Mineral Eyeshadow Primer, which is $3. However, that one contains bismuth oxychloride, which irritates my skin. For a dollar, this primer is not so bad. It takes time to get used to but once I did, I found it a pretty straightforward primer.

Disclaimer: I bought this product from Target. For more information regarding My Makeup Blog's disclosure policy, click here.


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